LAKE WALES, Fla. — It's been three months since Robert Westlake made the split-second decision that ended Jason Boek's life.
“It was a bad night all around," Westlake told 10News. "It’s nothing I’m happy about."
Westlake, 39, was giving an Uber ride to a passenger the night of Aug. 28 when sheriff's deputies say Boek, 34, began tailgating him before cutting him off and forcing him to a stop.
Dash camera video from inside Westlake's car shows Boek hop out of his truck and approach Westlake on Dundee Road near Carl Floyd Road and County Road 550.
Boek is audibly heard on camera threatening he had a pistol.
Westlake drew his gun and fired one, deadly shot. The entire encounter unfolded in less than eight seconds.
On Tuesday, the State Attorney's office ruled Westlake was justified in his decision to shoot and kill Boek. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd previously called it a "classic case of stand your ground."
“I don’t dwell on it, I don’t go back watching the video all the time," Westlake said.
Westlake only later discovered Boek had been holding his cellphone, not a gun. Westlake also didn't know that Boek thought he'd picked up his ex-girlfriend from a nearby bar. Investigators revealed text messages Boek had sent her threatening to "f***ing beat the f*** out of the Uber driver."
What Boek didn't know was that Westlake was a recent police academy grad who'd been recognized for his speed-shooting.
"I can't take the information I know now and apply it to that, it just doesn't work that way and in the moment that's really all I had the option of so that's just what I stick with," Westlake said.
Westlake said he's relieved to have a final decision from the State Attorney's Office.
As for feelings of guilt: “Not guilty about having to take that action," he said. "It’s knowing that I’m around and the other person’s not."
Westlake says Uber has allowed him to drive again, but he doesn't plan to go back to full-time. He says he still hopes to one day work in law enforcement.
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